“This is a landmark moment in our campaign for justice,” Claire Heafford, a former elite gymnast and one of the 17 claimants, said in the statement.
“This is not and has never been about a few bad apples, this is about decades of systemic abuse, encouraged and covered up by those at the top.
“The hopes and dreams of countless children and young adults of competing as professional gymnasts have been destroyed and their love for the sport is now shrouded in fear and suffering. My heart goes out to everyone who has felt this pain and have not yet spoken out — we want you to know that we are here, fighting on your side.”
In a statement sent to CNN, British Gymnastics said: “We took receipt of the Letter Before Action on the afternoon of 25th February. It would not be appropriate or fair to all parties for us to make any comment until we have had the opportunity for it to be fully considered. “
The claimants, who are all women, allege the abuse took place at clubs across the United…